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Estes v. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma

August 20, 2014

PAULETTE M. ESTES, on behalf of herself and her marital community, Plaintiff,
v.
WELLS FARGO HOME MORTGAGE; FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION; and NORTHWEST TRUSTEE, INC., Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS AND/OR MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO CONTINUE

BENJAMIN H. SETTLE, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on Defendants Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.[1] ("Wells Fargo") and Federal National Mortgage Association's ("Fannie Mae") (collectively, "Defendants") Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) and/or 56(a) motion for an order dismissing claims with prejudice and/or granting summary judgment (Dkt. 13); and on Plaintiff Paulette M. Estes's ("Estes") motion to continue Defendants' motion for summary judgment (Dkt. 16). The Court has considered the pleadings filed in support of and in opposition to the motions and the remainder of the file and hereby rules as follows:

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On March 19, 2014, a notice of removal was filed in this matter. Dkt. 1. Attached to that notice was Estes's complaint, filed in Clark County Superior Court. Dkt. 1-1 at 4-18 ("Comp"). Estes alleges (1) breach of contract, (2) breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, (3) violation of Washington's Consumer Protection Act ("WCPA"), (4) misrepresentation, (5) intentional infliction of emotional distress, and (6) promissory estoppel. Id.

On May 5, 2014, Defendants filed the instant motion seeking dismissal of all Estes's claims. Dkt. 13. On May 29, 2014, Estes filed a motion to continue Defendants' motion for summary judgment. Dkt. 16. On May 30, 2014, Estes filed a brief in opposition to Defendants' motion. Dkt. 18. On June 4, 2014, Defendants filed a brief in opposition to Estes's motion to continue the motion for summary judgment. Dkt. 19. On June 5, 2014, Estes filed a reply to Defendants' brief in opposition to their motion to continue. Dkt. 20. On June 6, 2014, Defendants filed a reply to Estes's opposition to their motion seeking dismissal of their claims. Dkt. 21.

II. BACKGROUND

In 2002, Estes and her husband obtained a home loan, secured by a deed of trust on the property. Dkt. 1-1 at ¶ 4.2. Soon after the home loan's inception, Fannie Mae became the owner of the loan and Wells Fargo began servicing the loan. Id. ¶¶ 4.3, 4.4.

In December 2008, Estes contacted Wells Fargo to discuss options for lowering her mortgage payment. Id. ¶¶ 4.10. Over the next few months, Estes alleges that she sent the requested financial information to Wells Fargo to be considered for a loan modification. Id. ¶ 4.9. According to Estes, she received a September 22, 2009 letter from Wells Fargo, which stated:

Based on our recent conversation about your current mortgage payment issues, we've gone back and carefully reviewed your situation and the information you provided. That's why we're writing you today - to let you know the results of our review. You may be eligible for a trial modification plan under the government's Home Affordable Modification Program, and we estimate your new payment amount to be $1, 167.

Id. ¶ 4.10. Estes states that the letter explained step-by-step how to proceed with the modification process:

(1) You must call us to finalize this offer by October 6, 2009 so that we can establish your trial modification plan; (2) During the phone call, we'll schedule a date for your first trial payment using our free Wells Fargo Easy Pay automatic payment service.... (3) You will need to make two additional payments at your modified amount using Wells Fargo Easy Pay over the following sixty days; (4) Within a week of setting up your trial payments, we will send you a package of information that clearly spells out the full terms and documentation you need to supply.

Id. ¶ 4.11. The letter closed with the following statement:

Don't let this opportunity to lower your monthly mortgage payments through the Home Affordable Modification Program pass you by. Call us right away to schedule your required trial period payment, and you are in the program. It's that easy.

Id. ¶ 4.12.

Estes alleges that she never received the promised packet of information that clearly spells out the full terms and documents she would need to supply. Id. ¶ 4.13. Estes further alleges that on October 2, 2009, she scheduled her three trial payments with Wells Fargo to be made on October 10, November 10 and December 10, 2009. Id. ¶ 4.14. According to Estes, during a call with Wells Fargo representative, Monica, the bank requested no further documentation from Estes. Id. Before accepting the trial modification offer, Estes alleges that she was current on her mortgage with the unpaid principal balance at approximately $283, 360.20. Id. ¶ 4.15.

According to Estes, after she made the first payment on the trial plan, she received a letter stating she and her husband were in default on their mortgage. Id. ¶ 4.16. Estes alleges that she called and spoke to a Wells Fargo representative, Melissa, who explained that Estes was technically late on her loan payment per the original note; however, Melissa also indicated Estes was in the home loan modification program and working under a different payment plan. Id. Melissa instructed Estes to continue to make the trial payments. Id. No further documents were requested ...


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